Top 6 Government-run TEFL Teacher Programs
Looking to embark on an adventure abroad while making a positive impact as an English teacher? Government-run TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) programs offer an incredible opportunity to do just that. These well-organized initiatives, often backed by various countries' governments, provide aspiring educators with a unique chance to teach English in foreign lands, all while gaining an unforgettable cross-cultural experience.
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In this blog post, we will explore the top six government-run TEFL teacher programs around the world, helping you discover which one aligns with your career and travel aspirations. Whether you're passionate about teaching in Asia, Europe, Latin America, or elsewhere, these programs open doors to exciting journeys and fulfilling educational experiences.
a. Language assistants in France
In the France Education International (FEI) program, you will live and experience the language and culture of France while teaching English to French students. Language assistants work in either the primary or secondary public school sector. Duties include teaching about your own country's culture and improving the students' English knowledge. According to the program details, assistants may perform one or many of the following functions:
Oral language practice with students alongside the teacher.Participation in the implementation of educational projects.Running a language club.Contribution to authentic recordings intended to enrich the audiovisual collections of schools and/or establishments.Participation in the implementation of an exchange project.Most assistants work 12 hours per week for a contract lasting seven months, and students come from over 70 partner countries.
b. For students from the USA, there is a special program called TAPIF.
The Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) is one of the longest-running and most popular programs offered by the French Embassy's Cultural Services. It places around 1,300 Americans into French public schools to work as English language teaching assistants.
Applicants for the TAPIF program should:
Be native English speakers.Be aged between 20 and 35 years old.Be US citizens or permanent residents in the USA.Have proficiency in French at level B1 or higher on the CEFR scale.The application fee is $90, and applications are accepted between mid-October to mid-January each year. Successful applicants receive a seven-month contract, which can be renewed twice, either consecutively or not. TAPIF alumni gain access to scholarships with their partner universities in the US and France, often studying for MA and PhD studies in various subjects, including French, Linguistics, Business, and more.
In operation since 1998, the program is designed for native English speakers to teach in primary or secondary schools in Hong Kong. Some benefits of the HK NET scheme, as described on their website, include:
A two-year contract.Retention incentives, including a 5% increase for the third and fourth years and a 10% increase for the fifth year.Paid holidays, including summer vacation.Paid public holidays, such as New Year, Chinese New Year, Easter, and Christmas.Medical insurance.Flight reimbursement.Salaries for native English teachers can range from around HKD 30,000 to HKD 70,000 per month.
The requirements for primary school and secondary school positions are different.
Primary School NET Teacher Categories 1 to 4
Category One, which is the highest category, offers the best chance of getting into the NET Scheme. To qualify for this category, you should have:
A bachelor's degree in English, which can include English studies, language, literature, or linguistics, or a bachelor's degree in Education with a major in English.A TEFL/TESL certificate (or EDB-recognized equivalent).A recognized teacher qualification.Category Four, the lowest category for primary school teachers, requires:
A bachelor's degree in any subject.A TEFL/TESL certificate (or EDB-recognized equivalent).Secondary School NET Teacher Categories 1 to 7
A bachelor's degree in English, which can include English studies, language, literature, or linguistics, or a bachelor's degree in Education with a major in English.A TEFL/TESL certificate (or EDB-recognized equivalent).A Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Major in English) or equivalent.At least one year of postgraduate experience teaching English at a secondary level or higher.Category Seven requires:
A bachelor's degree in any subject.A master's degree in TEFL/TESL (or EDB-recognized equivalent).At least one year of postgraduate experience teaching English at a secondary level or higher.How to Apply for the NET Scheme in Hong Kong
The application deadline is between February and March. If chosen, your job will begin in August.
a. If you apply directly through the EDB, you will need to download an application form from their website. Then, send the application form with your supporting documents, including your qualification certificates, study transcripts, and CV, in person or by post (not by email).
If successful, you will be invited to an interview, which can last anywhere from about 45 minutes to an hour. The interview is divided into two components: a spoken component (around 30 minutes) and a written component (around 20 minutes).
b. Many native English teachers apply to schools directly. You can search for primary and secondary schools online that are looking for teachers and send them your CV.
Teachers in the CETP program receive a lot of support when they are âIn-Countryâ. CETP gives this support on three levels:
- There is a resident director in Hungary available to help out with any issues.
- Every school assigns an English teacher to act as a contact person for the guest teacher.
- An informal network of alumni CETP teachers acts as regional contact people for new teachers.
General details: (These may vary between individual host institutions)
i) Contracts are typically from September to mid-June (About 10 months).ii) There is a 5-7 day orientation in Budapest around one week before the start of the school term.iii) Some shorter (6-month) contracts are available.iv) Contracts are renewable by mutual consent between the host institution and the volunteer.v) Teachers will have 22 to 26 class meetings per week.vi) A placement fee is required for all teachers. Teacherâs expenses are limited to food and travel since accommodations are paid for.
A salary is paid in local currency, according to the same pay scale as native teachers and is usually sufficient for covering everyday living expenses and in-country travel. All CETP teachers are required to purchase travel insurance coverage before arrival in Hungary. They are covered under the health system of the country. Housing, which is provided, is usually private, furnished apartments within walking distance or near public transportation to the school. Some CETP flats may appear Spartan but are comfortable by local standards.
Visas and Other Documents CETP provides all documents necessary to receive your work visa after arrival in Hungary. The visa is usually processed in about two weeks, and no visa fees are required. Salaries will not be paid until applicants are legal, so you will need to bring enough money to cover several weeks ($500-$1000) of living expenses.
The following is a brief overview of the Orientation process:
- You will meet your regional contact person.
- There is an introductory history and culture lesson on your host country and the region.
- Every morning begins with survival language lessons.
- You will practice teaching with local students. Teach a short lesson of your own, to a group of Hungarian or Romanian students, and receive feedback.
- There will be workshops covering various topics, such as your role at school, working with your colleagues, what you can expect from your students, effective lesson planning, and the grading system of the school.
- Visits to local area attractions.
- An introduction to the food and drink of your host culture.
- Useful information on traveling, teaching, and many other topics from returning teachers, some of whom have been with the program for 2 to 5 years.
All details regarding application requirements and documents can be obtained from the enrollment packet, which may be downloaded at the official CETP website. Once you have completed the application and supporting documents, including the contract, you can print and mail them, complete with the enrollment fee to the address given. You may mail the required transcripts and other documentation separately. However, for your application to be official, you must include a check for the enrollment fee ($500). This fee is included as part of your applicable program fee and is fully refundable up until the beginning of June.
The eligibility criteria are subject to change each year, and the information presented here applies to the 2023-2024 JET Programme. The eligibility criteria are for Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) only. As part of the general criteria stated on the website, applicants must:
(1) Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival; be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community; make efforts to study or continue studying the Japanese language before and after arriving in Japan.
(2) Be both mentally and physically healthy.
(3) Be willing and able to adapt to living and working in Japan and commit to responsibly fulfilling their job duties for the duration of their period of participation.
(4) Hold a Bachelorâs degree or higher or obtain such qualifications by the designated arrival date (applicants for the ALT position may alternatively hold a certification of completion of a 3-year course to teach at primary/elementary or secondary schools or obtain such qualification(s) by the designated arrival date).
(5) Be a national (not just a permanent resident) of the country where the recruitment and selection procedures take place by the time they submit their application form. Furthermore, those who possess Japanese citizenship must have submitted their applications to renounce their Japanese citizenship before submitting their Reply Form. Applicants who possess multiple nationalities with countries other than Japan may only apply as a national of one of those countries.
(6) Be adept in contemporary standard pronunciation, rhythm, and intonation in the designated language (see Note) and possess excellent language ability that can be applied accurately and appropriately; have the ability to form sentences in a comprehensive and logical manner.
Note: In the case of English-speaking countries (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Philippines, Singapore, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.) the designated language is English, for France, it is French, for Germany, it is German, for China, it is Chinese, for Korea, it is Korean, and for other non-English speaking countries, it is the principal language spoken in that country. However, there may be cases where English is required as well.
(7) Not have participated in the Programme since the 2020 JET Programme year (inclusive of April 2020 arrivals) or have participated in the Programme for more than 6 years in total.
(8) Not have declined a position on the Programme after receiving notification of assignment in the previous JET Programme year (excluding cases where it is accepted that the Participant had a valid, inevitable reason for withdrawing).
(9) Not have lived in Japan for six or more years in total since 2013.
(10) Have a desire to proactively maintain relations with Japan, even after completion of the Programme.
(11) Concerning entry into Japan for participation on the Programme, agree to reside in Japan under the status of residence stipulated in Article 2-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
(12) Be willing to obey all Japanese laws.
(13) Applicants with a suspended jail term must have finished their period of probation by the time they submit their application form.
(14) Have a functional command of the English or Japanese language.
In addition to the above general criteria, ALT applicants must:
(15) Be interested in the Japanese education system, particularly foreign language education in Japan.
(16) Be interested in working with children.
(17) Be qualified as a language teacher or be strongly motivated to take part in the teaching of foreign languages.
- The following are not part of the Eligibility Criteria, but additional consideration will be given to applicants who:Have language teaching experience or qualifications.Have general teaching experience or qualifications.Have a high level of Japanese language ability.
Applying to participate on the JET Programme is a long and competitive process. Successful applicants receive a one-year term of appointment with a contracting organization in Japan.
## 5. EPIK South Korea
In order to be eligible for the EPIK teacher program, applicants must be citizens of a country where English is the primary language, such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or South Africa. (Indian citizens are eligible for positions if they meet all other requirements and hold a valid teaching certificate in English education; this requirement is not met by a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate).
Additionally, applicants must have studied from at least the junior high level (7th Grade) and graduated from a university in one of the designated countries listed above. Korean citizens with legal residency in one of the designated countries listed above are eligible to apply but must provide proof of English education from the 7th year/grade through university.
Applicants must also hold at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university within the designated countries. Those who have a teaching license/certificate, B.Ed., M.Ed., or who majored in Teaching, TESOL, Second Language Studies (University of Hawai'i), or any other Education-focused major (Physical Education, Math Education, etc.) are not required to have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate. Alternatively, those with a Bachelor's degree in a field/specialization not listed above will need to obtain a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/etc. certificate of at least 100 hours or more from an accredited program to be eligible. This certification may be completed during the application process, allowing applicants to apply before certification, as long as it is finalized no later than six weeks before the final expected arrival date in Korea.
Be mentally and physically healthy.
Have a good command of the English language.
Have the ability and willingness to adapt to Korean culture and life.
All EPIK positions are available solely on an "on-request" basis from the Korean Provincial and Metropolitan Offices of Education.
This section outlines the expected duties of an EPIK teacher, providing a general guideline only. A full list of duties will be given at the time of your local placement. Duties will be carried out under the guidance of the Metropolitan Office of Education or Provincial Office of Education. Teachers may work in schools, Offices of Education, training centers, English Experience Centers, or any other educational institute. They may be designated to work in multiple locations.
Assist Korean teachers with their English classes, jointly conduct English classes with Korean teachers, and/or engage in extracurricular activities or English camps.
Conduct English conversation classes for Korean students and teachers.
Prepare teaching materials for English language education.
Assist in developing teaching materials for English language education.
Assist with activities related to English language education and other extracurricular activities.
Demonstrate a good command of the English language, both written and spoken.
Perform other duties as specified by your MOE/POE.
American college students and graduates partner with elementary and secondary schools in Spain to bolster language programs as language assistants (TAs) under the supervision and guidance of teachers in Spain. As a language assistant, you will be an ambassador advancing English language learning and mutual understanding through cultural exchange, encouraging Spanish students to broaden their knowledge of the language and culture.
Placements run from October 1st to May 31st across Spain, covering nearly every city and town in the country. Typically, a monthly stipend of 800 to 1,000 euros and medical insurance from either the Ministry of Education of Spain or the regional governments of Spain is provided. Assistant teaching hours range from 14 to 16 hours a week, varying based on the assignment awarded.
To participate in the program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen and hold a valid passport through the program's last day (May 31st, 2024, in most of Spain except for Madrid, which is June 30th, 2024).
- Hold a conferred BA, BS, AA, or AS degree, or be enrolled as a sophomore, junior, or senior in a BA or BS program.
- Be a native-like speaker of English.
- Be in good physical and mental health.
- Have a clean background check.
- Be aged 18 - 60. Participants must be at least 18 years old as of January 1, 2023, and not over 60 on January 1, 2024, to join the program. Disclaimer: Age ranges align with work regulations in Spain.
- Participants in the program should:
- Have a basic level of Spanish to use in everyday life in Spain.
- Be prepared to speak only English in the classroom, as it is essential to the program.
- Be responsible, open-minded, possess a flexible attitude, and be receptive to new ideas and cultures, as these qualifications directly impact the education of students in Spain.
- For Canadian citizens, check for different requirements here: https://www.educacionyfp.gob.es/canada/convocatorias-ayudas/convocatorias-canada/nalcap.html
In conclusion, these government-run TEFL teacher programs offer unparalleled opportunities for cultural immersion, professional development, and making a lasting impact in education across different corners of the globe. Whether you're considering teaching in South Korea, Spain, Hungary, Japan, or pursuing other international teaching avenues, each program presents unique eligibility criteria, duties, and cultural experiences.
Engaging with these programs not only enriches your teaching skills but also fosters cross-cultural exchange, promoting global understanding and language proficiency. Explore the diverse offerings, assess your qualifications, and embark on a transformative journey that blends education, adventure, and cultural exchange through these remarkable teaching programs.
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